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Evaluation- The Data and the Story


Evaluation- The Data and the Story

Evaluation, both quantitative and qualitative, is a great topic for discussion.
Data and evaluation are not the same thing, nor always related. However, a solid evaluation plan always includes data of all kinds. That data tells a story.

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Latest Activity: Jan 2

Evaluation Wiki


Group Description

photo above : Q. Thomas Bower (amazing photographer)

I remember seeing a government official, telling a group of local organizations, about the importance of evaluation, mostly data collection. They had to do it for their funding. Looking around was a picture in boredom. Eyes were glazing over and you could almost hear "yeah sure, we have no time and no money, we can't really do this."

You might have also heard, "I don't know what you mean, we don't have the tools we need to collect the data and tell our story, we don't know how".

There is a developing discussion about the importance of data related to government spending and effectiveness. The public wants to know where their money is going and the result of those dollars spent.

The Open Government Directive is challenging agencies to become more transparent and accountable, to increase public participation, become more transparent and collaborative. How does the Directive relate to sharing data?

There are usually different audiences and stakeholders interested in data for different reasons. How can we make sure it doesn't create barriers to participation? What is the relationship between data and evaluation?

Let's talk about evaluation and the practical use of data. Let's talk about quantitative and qualitative data. Let's talk about the whole thing.

Discussion Forum

Clearspending Evaluates Government Spending Data

Started by Laurenellen McCann. Last reply by Andrea Schneider Sep 8, 2010. 1 Reply

In the spirit of swapping resources for evaluation, I wanted to share with the group a new project of the Sunlight Foundation: Clearspending. Over $1.3 Trillion dollars of government spending has…Continue

Tags: politics, evaluations, spending, transparency

Evaluation Resources - Books, Articles, Tools, etc

Started by Joshua joseph. Last reply by Joshua joseph Jun 1, 2010. 4 Replies

So, Andrea suggested it might be useful to share resources that we've found helpful and which make evaluation more accessible. Suggest we do that here, since it's probably easier (especially for…Continue

Tags: evaluations, prospective, resources

Comment Wall


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Comment by GovLoop on January 19, 2012 at 8:12am

Good blog worth checking out on "Sifting through Big Data for Insight" -

Comment by GovLoop on December 5, 2011 at 2:04pm

What are you doing with your data? If you're like most government agencies, federal or state, you probably have a sizable amount it, but how do you take that information and turn it into something useful? Chris Dorobek talks with Bob Gourley on how to maximize your data and keep it safe. Big Data: What Do We Do With It? by GovLoop Insights

Comment by Andrea Schneider on October 21, 2010 at 2:29pm
Thanks! I will write a blog on the subject. FYI: I've also written about it in almost everyone of my groups, including Gov 2.0 ≠ Open Gov.

I am also being hooked up with private philanthropy as another sector interested in generating more effective grant programs. Not a typical public sector partner, but could bring together a very unique way of adding value all the way around.
FYI: Will be in DC from 10/27 - 11/08. Love to meet up with you. a
Comment by GovLoop on October 21, 2010 at 2:19pm
Great idea around Grants - I think there is a lot of opportunity to bring the open government in action approaches to the grant making process. Would love to see a blog/discussion on some ideas around that topic
Comment by Andrea Schneider on October 21, 2010 at 1:46pm
I'm convinced, more than ever, we have to integrate core principles of open gov into current organizational systems. We can develop concrete demonstration projects to fully understand and evaluate how this all works in action.

I am developing a plan to tackle the federal grant making system as one existing system ripe for organizational change and new ideas.

I call this approach "Open Government in Action". Without a doubt we will evaluate the work for wins, big and small and failure analysis to improve as we go and a way to "get the best" outcomes possible.

Gov 2.0 is part of this plan, but not the whole story. The bigger story is getting stuck by our excitement about the role technology can play in the entire framework, but it's a mistake to depend of Gov 2.0 for success.

Comment by Stephen Peteritas on September 13, 2010 at 9:36am
Would love to hear what you guys think about
Comment by Sam Allgood on September 9, 2010 at 10:20am
Comment by Andrea Schneider on September 8, 2010 at 8:30pm
Thought you guys would be interested in Ellen Miller's Blog at Sunlight Foundation and my response. Love your feedback!
Comment by Andrea Schneider on August 9, 2010 at 7:15pm
It's been a long time since we have had any activity in this group. How many professionals, interested in Open Gov are integrating evaluation into their projects?
It's usually the last thing done and yet can make all the difference in the world to those both in the project and outside.
What do you think stops us from seeing evaluation in a positive, helpful light?
Comment by Andrea Schneider on May 22, 2010 at 2:31pm
Great discussion! I go for results big and small. There is a challenge in deciding what we want as wins (including the project people) and how we will measure in any meaningful way.
It is so normal to be surprised, to change, for things to "turn out differently", and adjustments made a long the way.
I agree with Keith, a good program has a sustainable life with an on-going evaluation. It's unfortunate that so many programs don't last long enough for us to evaluate them long-term or the ripple effect.
On the most practical side, a program seeking funding is always better off if they have some evaluation of what they are doing prior to getting funding. Most don't.
There is a lot we don't know about government and non-profit programs for lack of a comprehensive evaluation, let alone, long-term.
Certainly doesn't play into the Open Government Directive of accountability, etc.
I think the next phase of conversation around data will be all about how to make it meaningful to a broad audience. The "what happened" phase, the so what of the numbers.

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